Top Adventure Activities to Try in Malawi

Lake Malawi, the third largest lake in Africa, is a stunning destination known for its crystal-clear waters, diverse marine life, and breathtaking landscapes. This vast lake, also called the “Lake of Stars,” is perfect for a variety of water-based adventures. Whether you’re seeking thrilling water sports or a peaceful retreat into nature, Lake Malawi has something to offer. Here’s your guide to the top water adventures on Lake Malawi.

Snorkelling and Scuba Diving

Lake Malawi is renowned for its remarkable biodiversity, especially its cichlid fish species, found nowhere else in the world. These colourful fish make snorkelling and scuba diving in the lake a truly unique experience.

Snorkelling Spots:

– Cape Maclear: Cape Maclear is a popular spot for snorkelling in the southern part of the lake. The clear, warm waters here teem with vibrant cichlids, offering snorkelers an underwater spectacle.

– Likoma Island: This island provides excellent snorkelling opportunities with their pristine waters and diverse marine life.

– Nkhata Bay: This Northern lakeshore town situated on the shores of Lake Malawi has an abundance of fish, clear waters & fantastic topography.

Scuba Diving Centres:

– Cape Mac Scuba: Situated at Cape Maclear, this centre offers both PADI & RAID certified diving courses and guided dives for both beginners and experienced divers.

– Kaya Mawa Lodge/ Mango Drift Backpackers: Located on Likoma Island, Kaya Mawa Lodge & Mango Drift Backpackers offer diving courses and excursions, allowing divers to explore the underwater world around the island.

– Aqua Africa: Positioned by the ferry port in Nkhata Bay, Aqua Africa dive school offers PADI scuba diving courses as well as guided dive trips for certified divers & introduction dives for beginners looking to experience scuba diving.

Kayaking and Canoeing

For those who enjoy exploring at a leisurely pace, kayaking and canoeing on Lake Malawi are ideal. The lake’s often calm waters and numerous hidden coves and islands provide a serene setting for paddling adventures.

Popular Routes:

– Cape Maclear to Domwe Island: This route takes paddlers across clear waters to the uninhabited Domwe Island, where you can explore secluded beaches and lush forests.

– Mumbo Island: Another excellent kayaking destination for guests staying on Mumbo Island which offers clear waters and vibrant underwater habitats. The island’s rocky shores and hidden bays are perfect for a day of exploration around the island.

Rentals and Guided Tours:

– Kayak Africa: Based at Cape Maclear, Kayak Africa offers kayak rentals and guided trips to nearby islands, providing all necessary equipment and safety gear.

– Monkey Business: This Nkhata Bay based company offers guided kayaking tours, allowing you to explore the lake’s beauty with an experienced guide. Overnight trips with full catering and camping gear is also a popular option.

Family-Friendly Activities in Malawi


The expansive surface of Lake Malawi and its steady winds make it a prime location for sailing. Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or a beginner, the lake offers conditions suitable for all skill levels.

Sailing Schools and Rentals:

– Nanchengwa: Situated on the Mangochi strip, Nanchengwa offers sailing lessons. Their experienced instructors can help you master the basics or hone your sailing skills.

– Likoma Island: Easiest accessible via small charter flight from Lilongwe or ferry from the lakeshore has sail boats available for hire.

Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP)

Stand-up paddleboarding is a fun and accessible way to explore Lake Malawi’s tranquil waters. Whether you’re gliding over the lake’s surface or practising yoga on your board, SUP provides a unique perspective on the lake’s natural beauty.

Where to Paddleboard:

– Likoma Island: The clear waters and stunning surroundings of Likoma Island provide a beautiful setting for stand-up paddleboarding.

– Nkhata Bay: This Northern Lakeshore community has crystal waters with some lodges such as Mayoka Village offering free sup board use for guests.


Lake Malawi is a paradise for anglers, offering a variety of fish species and excellent fishing conditions. Whether you prefer shore fishing, boat fishing, or traditional Malawian fishing techniques, the lake has plenty to offer.

Fishing Locations:

– Nkhata Bay: Known for its diverse fish population, Nkhata Bay is a popular spot for both recreational and sport fishing.

– Mangochi: The southern part of the lake near Mangochi is another excellent fishing destination, where you can catch a variety of species including chambo and kampango.

Book Your Adventure Holiday with Lake Malawi Travel Packages!

Lake Malawi’s rich natural beauty and diverse activities make it a top destination for adventure travellers. Whether you’re exploring the underwater wonders, paddling through serene waters, sailing the vast expanse, or fishing in tranquil bays, Lake Malawi promises unforgettable adventures. For the best experience, explore our Lake Malawi travel packages at The Adventure Office.

Our travel packages are designed to help you make the most of your adventure holidays in Malawi. Let us take care of the details so you can focus on enjoying the incredible experiences that Lake Malawi has to offer. Start planning your dream adventure today with The Adventure Office!


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